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of the peninsula, and forms the focus of Case'mates.-The defences of Gibral. the extensive system of defensive works, tar were greatly strengthened soon after which cover the whole western side of the this siege-between 1786 and 1789. Where promontory from shore to summit.
the slope was too steep to admit of external The view of Gibraltar on page 11 is forts, subterranean galleries were excavated taken from a point on the northern shore in the solid rock. These galleries, which of the bay. The spectator is looking are chiefly on the north and north-west, towards the south-east. The precipitous are several thousand yards in length, and rock on the left is the northern peak of the are pierced at intervals of ten paces by mountain, overlooking the neutral ground. large embrasures, through which huge Its summit (Rock Mortar) is 1350 feet in guns point their black muzzles. At the height. The most distant peak is Sugar- | time of the siege the Rock mounted only loaf Point (1440 feet); the intermediate eighty guns. It is said that now upwards one is the Signal Station (1276 feet). The of a thousand of the most powerful guns King's Bastion, which is in the middle of | are placed in battery. the town, forms the extreme right of the 6 The King's Bastion.—The central picture.
point in the defences of the town, on the * 2 The War of the Spanish Succes- sea level. There General Elliot stood dursion.—The object of this war was to pre-ing the hottest of the enemy's fire. vent the union of the crowns of France and • From the isth'mus.—The Spaniards Spain. England therefore supported the had a formidable line of works on the claim of Charles, the Archduke of Austria, north side of the isthmus, or neutral in opposition to Philip of Anjou.
ground, which connects Gibraltar with 3 North American Colonies. (See Spain. OUTLINES OF HISTORY, Nelsons' School Carcasses, oval bomb-shells filled · Series.)
QUESTIONS.—When and how did Gibraltar fall into the hands of the English? When did the Spaniards make the most determined effort to recover it? How long did the siege last? How often during that time was the garrison succoured? What was done in 1781 ? When was the final effort made? Who took the command of the besiegers? How many men had he? To what did the combined fleets amount? What was the strength of the garrison in men and in guns? What is the date of the decisive attack? Upon what had the besiegers placed most reliance? What proved the great strength of these ships? How were they at length destroyed? What movement compelled the Spaniards to abandon them? What humane service did Curtis afterwards render? Who brought fresh troops and provisions from England to the garrison ? When did the blockade finally terminate ?
TAE writing of simple narrative ought to be practised in every school. One of the latest Government programmes specifies, as an exercise for the highest class in elementary schools, “Writing from memory the substance of a short story or narrative read out twice" to the scholars. The questions at the end of each lesson in this book, as in the other books of the Series, form a most convenient means of practising narrative composition, and of acquiring skill and readiness in the exercise. In preparing the questions, this use of them has been kept steadily in view; and it will be found that the answers to each set of questions form a good consecutive abstract of the lesson. This applies not only to the ordinary reading lessons, but also to those on Great Inventions and on Physical Geography
The first difficulty which young people meet with in attempting composition is in knowing “how to begin ;" the second is in knowing “what to say next.” Now the advantages of the question-method are, that it shows the scholar both how to begin, and how to proceed; and that it at the same time requires the construction of every sentence to be the scholar's own. The mode of procedure is extremely simple. The exercise consists of two steps :(394)
1. The answer to every question is written down in the form of a complete sentence.
2. Additional circumstances are introduced when necessary, to make the narrative consecutive, and the composition smooth.
To illustrate the process, we here show how the questions on the preceding lesson may be made the basis of a simple narrative.
FIRST STEP_SIMPLE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS. 1. Gibraltar fell into the hands of the English in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession. Sir George Rooke, learning that it was poorly garrisoned, suddenly attacked and captured it.
2. The Spaniards made their last and most determined effort to recover it in 1779, during the American War of Independence.
3. The siege lasted three years. 4. The garrison was twice succoured—once by Darby, once by Rodney.
5. Early in 1781, there was a terrific bombardment by the besiegers. Towards the end of that year the garrison made a midnight sortie, and destroyed the enemy's works. 6. The final effort to take the place was made in 1782. 7. The Duke de Crillon took the command of the besiegers. 8. He had under him 30,000 of the best troops of France and Spain.
9. The combined fleets numbered 47 sail of the line, with 10 great floating batteries.
10. The besieged numbered only 7000 men, with 80 guns.
11. The decisive attack commenced on the morning of the 13th of September.
12. The besiegers had placed most reliance on their 10 battering-ships.
13. The great strength of these ships was proved by the fact that the heaviest shells often rebounded from their tops.
14. They were at length destroyed by red-hot balls, which set them on fire.
15. The advance of Captain Curtis with his gun-boats compelled the Spaniards to abandon theirs.
16. Curtis and his men endeavoured to rescue their enemies from drowning-Curtis risking his own life to save those of his fellow-creatures.
17. Admiral Howe brought fresh troops and provisions from England to the garrison.
18. The blockade did not finally terminate till the peace (January 20, 1783); but after the failure of the bombardment, it was little more than a form.
SECOND STEP_COMPLETED NARRATIVE. [The simple answers are here repeated in Roman type, and the additions in Italics.]
Gibraltar fell into the hands of the English in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession. Sir George Rooke, while watching the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean, learned that it was poorly garrisoned, and suddenly attacked and captured it. After many rain attempts to retake it, the Spaniards made their last and most determined effort to recover it in 1779, during the American War of Independence.
The siege lasted three years, in the course of which the garrison was twice succoured-once by Darby, once by Rodney.
Early in 1781 there was a terrific bombardment by the besiegers; but it did little damage, and produced no result. Towards the end of that year the garrison made a midnight sortie, and completely destroyed the enemy's works. At the same time their floating batteries were set on fire by red-hot balls. That one night cost the Spaniards two millions sterling!
The final effort to take the place was made in 1782, when the Duke de Crillon, who had lately distinguished himself by capturing Minorca, took the command of the besiegers. He had under him 30,000 of the best troops of France and Spain. The combined fleets numbered 47 sail of the line, with 10 great floating batteries. The besieged numbered only 7000 men, with 80 guns.
The decisive attack commenced on the morning of the 13th of September. The ten battering-ships, on which the besiegers placed most reliance, bore down in admirable order to their several stations. The great strength of these ships was proved by the fact that the heaviest shells often rebounded from their tops, and thirty-two pound shot made no visible impression on their hulls. At length, however, the red-hot balls from the garrison set them on fire, and the whole of the enemy's line was thrown into confusion. The advance of Captain Curtis with his gun-boats compelled the Spaniards to abandon theirs. The English then showed themselves to be as humane as they were courageous. Curtis and his men endeavoured to rescue their enemies from drowning; Curtis, on more than one occasion, risking his own life to save those of his fellowcreatures.
The Spaniards having been thus utterly defeated, Admiral Howe brought fresh troops and provisions from England to the garrison. The blockade did not finally terminate till the peace (January 20, 1783); but after the failure of the bombardment it was little more than a form.
BATTLE OF CORUÑA AND DEATH OF MOORE.
January 17, 1809. As the troops 'approached Coruña, the General's looks were directed towards the harbour ; but an open expanse of water painfully convinced him that to Fortune, at least, he was no way beholden : contrary winds still detained the fleet at Vigo, 2 and the last •consuming exertion made by the army was rendered fruitless! The men were put into quarters, and their leader awaited the progress of events.
Three divisions occupied the town and suburbs of Coruña, and the reserve was posted near the neighbouring village of El Burgo. For twelve days these hardy soldiers had covered the
retreat; during which time they had traversed eighty miles of road in two marches, passed several nights under arms in the snow of the mountains, and been seven times engaged with the enemy. They now assembled at the outposts, having fewer men missing from the ranks than any other division in the army.
The town of Coruña, although 'sufficiently strong to oblige an enemy to break ground before it, was weakly fortified, and to the southward was commanded by some heights close to the walls. Sir John Moore therefore caused the land front to be strengthened, and occupied the .citadel, but disarmed the sea face of the works.
The late arrival of the transports, the increasing force of the enemy, and the disadvantageous nature of the ground, had greatly 'augmented the difficulty and danger of the embarkation; and several general officers now proposed to the commander-inchief that he should negotiate for leave to retire to his ships upon terms. Moore's high spirit and clear judgment revolted at the idea, and he rejected the degrading advice without hesitation.
All the 'encumbrances of the army were shipped in the night of the 15th and morning of the 16th, and everything was prepared to withdraw the fighting men as soon as the darkness would permit them to move without being perceived. The 'precautions taken would, without doubt, have insured the success of that difficult operation ; but a more glorious event was destined to give a 'melancholy but graceful termination to the campaign. About two o'clock in the afternoon a general movement along the French line gave notice of an approaching
Sir John Moore, while earnestly watching the result of the fight, was struck on the left breast by a cannon shot. The shock threw him from his horse with violence; but he rose again in a sitting posture, his countenance unchanged, and his steadfast eye still fixed upon the regiments engaged in his front, no sigh betraying a sensation of pain. In a few moments, when he was satisfied that the troops were gaining ground, his countenance brightened, and he suffered himself to be taken to the rear.
Then was seen the dreadful nature of his hurt. The shoulder was shattered to pieces; the arm was hanging by a piece of skin ; the ribs over the heart were broken and bared of flesh ; and the muscles of the breast were torn into long strips, which were 'interlaced by their recoil from the dragging of the shot. As the soldiers placed him in a blanket, his sword got entangled, and the hilt entered the wound. Captain Hardinge, 3 a staff officer who was near, 'attempted to take it off; but the dying man stopped him, saying, “ It is as well as it is. I had rather it should go out of the field with me;"_and in that manner, so becoming to a soldier, Moore was borne from the fight.
Sir John Hope, upon whom the command of the army now •devolved, 'resolved to pursue the original plan of 'embarking during the night. This operation was effected without delay. The arrangements were so complete that neither confusion nor difficulty occurred. The piquets, kindling a number of fires, covered the retreat of the columns; and being themselves withdrawn at daybreak, were embarked under the protection of General Hill's 4 brigade, which was posted near the ramparts of the town. This done, Hill's brigade embarked from the citadel; while General Beresford,5 with a rear guard, kept possession of that work until the 18th, when, the wounded being all put on board, his troops likewise embarked. The inhabitants faithfully maintained the town against the French, and the fleet sailed for England.
From the spot where he fell, Sir John Moore had been carried to the town by a party of soldiers. His blood flowed fast, and the torture of his wound was great; yet such was the unshaken firmness of his mind, that those about him, judging from the oresolution of his countenance that his hurt was not mortal, expressed a hope of his recovery. Hearing this, he looked steadfastly at the injury for a moment, and then said, “ No; I feel that to be impossible.” Several times he caused his attendants to stop and turn him round, that he might behold the field of battle; and when the firing indicated the advance of the British, he discovered his satisfaction, and permitted the bearers to proceed.
Being brought to his lodging, the surgeons examined his wound; but there was no hope. The pain increased, and he spoke with great difficulty. At intervals he asked if the French were beaten ; and addressing his old friend, Colonel Anderson, he said, “ You know that I always wished to die this way.” Again he asked if the enemy were defeated; and, being told that they were, observed, “ It is a great satisfaction to me to know that we have beaten the French." His countenance continued firm and his thoughts clear. Once only, when he spoke of his mother, he became agitated; but he often inquired after the safety of his friends and the officers of his staff; and he did not, even in that moment, forget to recommend those whose merit had given them claims to promotion.